Health system reports greatly reduced loss for last fiscal year
By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — LRGHealthcare, which runs Lakes Region General Hospital and Franklin Regional Hospital, recorded a $1.8 million operating loss in 2016, an improvement over the prior year loss of $11.3 million, company officials said at their general meeting.
“We have made major strides in improving our financial performance,” President and CEO Kevin Donovan said in the meeting Wednesday at Beane Conference Center. “We were losing approximately $1 million a month on an annual basis.”
Cost-saving measures included a work force reduction of 120 full-time employees. Declining reimbursement from government health insurance programs contributed to the financial struggles for LRGHealthcare, a not-for-profit charitable trust.
Chief Financial Officer Wayne Bennett said the 2016 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, was a time of transition.
“I'm pleased to report that a lot of the results that partially improved in FY16 have further improved in FY17,” he said. “Through the first five months of Fiscal Year '17, we are now operating at 1 percent operating gain.”
“What we need is a few years of sustained gains from operations to replenish our balance sheet and give us the liquidity we need to invest in the future of the organization.”
He described challenges facing health care systems.
More and more people are covered by government health insurance programs as Medicare ranks swell with Baby Boomers and states enlarge Medicaid programs. Funding for these programs is tight, affecting reimbursement rates to health care providers.
“We used to be able to shift the cost of some of that care to employer-sponsored health plans, but those businesses are having a harder time paying for the cost of health care for their employees and they are shifting more and more of the burden of health care to their employees,” Bennett said.
People are having trouble coming up with out-of-pocket health care expenses, and they are delaying care, he said.
At the meeting, Franklin City Councilor Scott Clarenbach, a retired fire chief on the LRGHealthcare Board, won the Rhoda C. Ladd Award and the Sally Proctor Award, given in acknowledgment for dedication to improving the community's healthcare system.
Lakes Region General Hospital has 132 beds. Franklin Regional Hospital is a 25-bed hospital. The system also has 22 affiliated medical practices and service programs.
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